Catholic, Independent Elementary Schools Serving Chicago's Children Since 1876


Alumni Profiles

Meet Catherine Drake, Mother of SHS Alumni Lauren, Alex and Ali

Since her youngest child of three graduated (A’01, H’04, A’07) from Sacred Heart Schools, Catherine Drake continues to call Sacred Heart one of her passions. In fact, she has unofficially served as an ambassador for the school in recommending Sheridan Road to her colleagues at a major money management firm, where she serves as a managing director for Corporate Credit Research.

Catherine values Catholic education and feels that Sacred Heart’s Goals and Criteria mirror what she most appreciates about Catholicism. Working full-time while raising her three children in the city, she was profoundly grateful that the Academy and Hardey Prep reinforced at school the values she was trying to teach at home. And, as a single mother, she also believes the Sheridan Road community helped her children feel they were known and cared for.

While on Sheridan Road, the Drake family moved overseas for a couple of years, and Catherine recounts that the hardest part of that move was leaving Sacred Heart. She recalls contacting then-director Susan Maxwell, RSCJ from overseas to inquire if her family could return to Sacred Heart, knowing that spots were few and admission was competitive. Sr. Maxwell assured her that she and her family would always have a home at Sacred Heart. This sense of connection and belonging to the Sacred Heart community played a significant role in her decision to re-enroll her children at Sheridan Road.

Despite the fact that there were other revered academic institutions in the city, she decided that Sacred Heart’s values-based education was most important to her—she knew her children would be best served by remaining at Sacred Heart. She recounted her son’s middle school years and the unwavering support of his teacher, Dan Flaherty, as the young man began to form opinions and benefit greatly from the wisdom of Goal V: Personal Growth in an Atmosphere of Wise Freedom.

Daughter Lauren A‘01 attended Latin School of Chicago for high school, Johns Hopkins University, and The University of Maryland School of Medicine; today she is a family physician in Baltimore. Alex H‘04 attended Latin as well, and then Washington University in St. Louis. He lives in Seattle where he is employed as a software engineer. Ali A’07 graduated from Latin and DePaul University, and is currently employed as a third-grade teacher at a charter school in Phoenix.

Catherine expects to earn her MA in International Studies from DePaul University in June 2018. Her family continues to grow—Lauren and her husband will be having their first child in June, joining Alex and his wife’s 15-month-old son. Being a grandmother only adds to the richness of Catherine’s life, and she continues to be grateful for the role that Sacred Heart has played in her family’s life.